Columbus to Fund Summer Youth Engagement and Anti-Violence Programming

The City of Columbus has received $93 million in federal funds out of an expected $187 million from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) to provide assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds will be delivered over two years and must be used by 2024. Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and City Council have agreed to allocate $19.7 million for short-term summer youth engagement and anti-violence efforts.

“Our city and our residents continue to suffer from the fallout of the global pandemic, and no one has been more negatively impacted than our young people,” said Mayor Ginther. “Our first investment of American Rescue Plan dollars will help our kids regain some of what they lost with opportunities for programming, education and employment through city departments as well as through community partners.”

“We are advancing a bold plan with the Mayor to put nearly $20 million into area nonprofits focused on keeping our kids safe while helping them catch up,” said City Council President Shannon G. Hardin. “This package of ARP projects are critical to getting Columbus past the brutal challenges brought onto neighborhoods by COVID-19 restrictions and frustrations. Together with local partners we’re helping make sure folks can get back to work, back into classes and back to living their lives safely.”

Of the $19.7 million that is being allocated, $15.6 million will utilize ARP funding. The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department’s (CRPD) total additional spending for summer programming is $4.8 million, with $4 million coming from City sources outside of the ARP allocation. $4.2 million will be used by CRPD to support qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that provide youth programming centered on addressing educational disparities and/or promoting healthy childhood environments. 

Requests for RFPs through CRPD have been posted on the city’s Vendor Services portal since June 11, 2021. Proposals are due at noon on July 9, 2021. Questions can be submitted via email to: RecoveryFunding2021@columbus.gov.

The city is developing a process to determine how to best invest ARP funding to meet the community’s near- and long-term needs, informed in part by the work of the joint City-County Recovery and Resiliency Committee. Community organizations seeking financial support for proposals utilizing American Recovery Plan funding are encouraged to submit proposals online utilizing a standard form that includes a budget and description of how the funds will be used.